1147. Stan Rosenthal
Stan Rosenthal, from Mid-Sussex, founded the UK’s first ‘Happy Café’ in Brighton in 2014 to allow people to connect over a cup of coffee and learn skills for enhancing their psychological wellbeing.
A retired civil servant, Stan’s longstanding interest in wellbeing research led him to volunteer for his local ‘Action for Happiness’ branch, dedicated to spreading happiness in the community based on the latest scientific research into the subject. With the help of the national organisation which now has over 1 million followers world-wide, Stan developed the concept of encouraging a local café or cafes in workplaces and a variety of public establishments, to designate themselves as a ‘Happy Café’, actively promoting wellbeing by holding regular talks and events, building community networks, creating dedicated spaces for mindfulness, and sharing information on personal development. Following the successful launch of the first café in Brighton, Stan developed a toolkit for other branches to set themselves up as a ‘Happy Café’ and has since supported the roll-out of more than 100 ‘Happy Cafés’ across the UK and internationally.
In a personal letter to Stan, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By pioneering the concept of ‘Happy Cafés’, you have created a simple and effective way for people to improve their wellbeing and connect with members of their community. Your commitment to helping others develop happier lives is remarkable, and you should feel very proud of the difference ‘Happy Cafés’ are making to people across the country.”
“Absolutely delighted that the Happy Cafe concept and the wonderful Action for Happiness movement behind it have been officially acknowledged in this way. And on the eve of the International Day of Happiness too!”
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